Healthy, clean food make healthy clean bodies, along with movement and other good habits. As I've studied a bit of the science behind nutrition and holistic practices as they apply to healing over the past couple of years, it has become even more frustrating that the medical establishment as a whole doesn't promote/push optimal nutrition, specific exercise regimes and mind/body management - also known as Integrative Medicine (see the wheel) - as preventative measures against disease.
Instead, too many doctors eagerly write scripts for antidepressants, sleep aids and other pills as a band-aid to underlying problems that could without question be remedied by diet, exercise and spiritual/relaxation practices. Even with the superior medical team of mine at Scott and White, not one of those doctors stressed good nutrition or stress management while undergoing cancer treatment. It might have been mentioned as an after thought but I clearly remember them telling me to eat whatever I wanted whenever I wanted. And I remember saying, "You're kidding me, right?"
And with that, I took it upon myself to help better educate my doctors with reputable statistics on the importance of good nutrition (ie juicing,) relaxation and even regular exercise during cancer treatment. And I still take them little snippets of the latest studies (the most recent was regarding acupuncture) each time I go for follow-up. They always nod with a deer-in-the-headlights look, but as with similar to 'preaching' to my kids, I'm hopeful that some of it will stick.
As consumers/patients, it is up to us to encourage/insist/demand changes in our health care. I have read that some of the top medical schools are incorporating more holistic curriculums in the future, which is great. For our grand kids. But what about NOW?
Freedictionary.com defines holistic medicine as:
A term used to describe therapies that attempt to treat the patient as a whole person. That is, instead of treating an illness, as in orthodox allopathy, holistic medicine looks at an individual's overall physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional wellbeing before recommending treatment.
A practitioner with a holistic approach treats the symptoms of illness as well as looking for the underlying cause of the illness. Holistic medicine also attempts to prevent illness by placing a greater emphasis on optimizing health.
The body's systems are seen as interdependent parts of the person's whole being. Its natural state is one of health, and an illness or disease is an imbalance in the body's systems. Holistic therapies tend to emphasize proper nutrition and avoidance of substances—such as chemicals—that pollute the body. Their techniques are non-invasive.
By addressing it, we're letting our physicians know that it is important to us, and therefore, if they want a thriving practice, it should be important to them. Doctor surveys that most clinics send after office visits are an ideal tool to get your message across emphasizing your need for an integrative approach to medicine.
But . . .BUT . . . this means we have to actually DO something and take responsibility for ourselves. We have to become an active partner with our doctors when addressing our own health.
Breaking the cycle of poor habits and insisting on better health care takes dedication and motivation. And when I really get down to the meat and bones of why it's so important to me, it's not so much about how better it makes me feel (a difference of night and day) or how much longer I have on this earth, or even how much it has enlightened me spiritually. It's about acknowledging that there is a much better way. It's about improving the quality of life for everyone. It's about the example I set and the legacy I leave my kids. "Our" kids. And the generations that follow.